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Full text of "A history of Persia"

ux                          TAMERLANE                        199
treachery, and they were forced to retire to the desert for
protection. There they led a life of risk and hardship,
Tamerlane and his wife being on one occasion imprisoned
by some Turkoman and escaping with difficulty.
Tamerlane or " Timur the Lame."—It was during -this
perioi that Timur acquired in Sistan his soubriquet of
"the Lame" ; and details of the story have been pre-
served. In A.H. 764 (1363)5 when wandering in Southern
Afghanistan, he received an appeal for help from Jalal-u-
Din Mahmud, the Keiani * Prince of Sistan, whose subjects
had rebelled. Tamerlane and Amir Husayn immedi-
ately accepted the invitation, and with the aid of their
veteians three out of seven forts held by the rebels were
captured. The latter then submitted to their Prince,
pointing out that if Tamerlane were allowed to capture
the other forts, Sistan would lie at his mercy. Persuaded
by these weighty arguments, Jalal-u-Din collected a force
with which he attacked his allies, and although Tamerlane
succeeded in breaking the centre 'of 'the Sistan army, he
received two arrow wounds, on£ in his arrri and the other
in his foot, which was thus permanently lamed. From
this he became known as Timu£;./##£, or ." the lame/' two
words which in European languages, .have been merged
in the euphonious form of Tamerlane.1 The word Timur
signifies iron.
The Rallying of his Relations and Adherents.—In Timur's
Institutes* there is a delightful account of how relations
and adherents rallied to his standard during this period.
It deserves quotation, if only as revealing the character
of the great adventurer. He writes : " I had not yet
rested from my devotions, when a number of people
appeared afar off; and they were passing along in a line
with the hill. And I mounted my horse, and I came
behind them, that I might know their condition, and
what men they were. They were, in all, seventy horsemen ;
and I asked of them saying,c Warriors, who are ye ?' and
i Fide Chapter XII.
3 Timur's Memoirs (Malfuzat] and Institutes (Tuxukat) are works the genuineness
of which is not universally accepted. Still there is much internal evidence that they
were written by the Great Tartar himself, and they are of considerable value and of
great interest as showing his ideals and personality.